The Personal Connection

May 30th, 2013

What makes a person by a painting? I don’t mean big important investment paintings from big important artists, but the occasional pleasure purchase from walking into a local gallery. Sometimes it’s the story–talking to the artists, finding out what they were thinking when they painted it. But I’ve found more often it’s something that connects to back to the viewer, as I described in a previous post, “To Each Her Own.”

Looking back, I can think of several instances of such connections. Sometimes it’s because it reminds someone of ‘back home,’ or a place they once lived. One gentleman bought “Yardlight,” a railyard and port scene from Vancouver, because that had been the view from his window for many years.

Sometimes, it’s even more remarkable. In a painting called “New Altars for Old Gods,” which was a view of the iconic “W” at Vancouver’s Woodwards Centre, a woman was drawn in because her mother had shopped at the old Woodwards for years; the painting also referenced the previous aboriginal culture, an antlered dancer, and that had been her area of study in university. But the finishing touch was a tiny little airplane, a little white streak I had accidentally put in and decided to turn into a jetliner. Who could have guessed my buyer was a commercial passenger jet pilot? The painting hit her in three different ways, entirely by serendipity. That painting is now in the Maldives with its owner.

Entry Filed under: Exhibitions